Institute History

  • 2001 Sundance Film Festival

Description traces the paths of two freewheeling entrepreneurs and their quest for the new American dream: developing a successful Internet start-up company. Directors Chris Hegedus and Jehane Noujaim track the roller-coaster ride of the creation of, a new-media solution for connecting citizens with government via the Internet. This exceptional filmmaking team pinpoints a critical time in our history by focusing on the trials and tribulations of Tom Herman and Kaleil Isaza Tuzman, GovWork's charismatic founders and leaders.

The camera captures each important milestone on the road to riches, from the inception of the idea to the courting of venture capitalists. The relentless drive in this group is palpable from their sports-rally chants to their obsessive work ethic. follows them from East Coast to West and a few spots between, through sleepless nights and disappointing setbacks. We even eavesdrop at the deal-making table when they discover they cannot get their lawyer on the phone. The wild ride will all pay off if it delivers them to the ultimate final round, an IPO. is also about friendship and dreams. The bond of high-school friendship is put to the test when big money comes into the equation. The choices and sacrifices involved are heightened by their now-infamous historical context, the peak Web euphoria which occurred some two years ago. has all of the suspense and intriguing characters of a great fiction film.

— John Cooper

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]